There are several reasons why you need to write a check. For example, some businesses will give you a discount for writing checks instead of swiping cards. This is because they will save money by not having to pay processing fees.
So if you are going to fill out a check, make sure you do it the right way is the key if you don’t want to have complexity. To help you with this, here are six simple steps on how to write a check correctly.
6 Steps to Writing Checks
First, note that there is a numbered field in the check. Throughout this tutorial, we will talk about each number field and its purpose so you can use the right check format.
1. Check the date in the upper right corner
Each date format is acceptable. For example, April 1, 2017, 4/1/17 , or other formats. However, consistency is key because it helps you to more easily recognize checks that might have been stolen from your account. For example, if you always check your check in this format: April 1, 2017 , fake checks will be easily identified if the date of the check is written in a different format.
2. Add the person you paid in the “Pay in order” column
This is where you write to whom the check is paid. In the case of this tutorial there will be a Target . It is important to write neatly when filling out your check and include your first and last name or the entire name of the recipient’s business (the person or business to whom the check is being written).
3. Write down the amount you want to pay in numbers
Again, it’s important to be neat and right here. Make a clear difference between dollars and cents with a decimal point or by underlining the number of cents to avoid confusion about the specified amount. This confirms the amount in written form so there is no confusion about how much to pay. So in this example, it will be $ 20.21 .
4. Write down the number of dollars using words
Neatness is also calculated here because the bank will, at times, double-check the written amount if they cannot read the numbers in the number box. Write the dollar amount from the check clearly as shown in the box below. For example this check, it will be twenty dollars and 21/100 .
5. Fill in the Memo field in the lower left
People don’t often use memo lines when writing checks, but that can be important when dealing with potential payment disputes. Every time you pay a bill, we recommend writing the account number in the memo line. Or, if the check is to pay rent, write “April 2017 rent” in the memo line.
Using a memo when writing a check helps secure your account and protects you from possible payment disputes. This can also be used to help track your expenses so you can find out how much money you spend in each budget area. In this example, Clothes will occur .
6. Sign the check in the lower right
This is probably the most important part of the check writing process. The company will not accept checks without a valid signature. Because everyone’s signature is unique, your check signature has the ability to protect you from potential check-writing counterfeiters.
When writing a check, make sure to make your signature neat and written as you normally do with other formal documents. See your signature here in the box in the example below.
Your check will look similar to this when it’s finished:
There are three additional information that you should know when it comes to the check format.
This is specifically for your banking institution and is found at the bottom left of the check. This is also used when you provide information to your employer to receive direct deposits and arrange automatic payments.
This is quite clear, however, know that you can find this number directly to the right of your routing number.
Your checkbook is prepared in numerical order, so if you write a lot of checks over the years, it makes it easy to go back and confirm payment and ‘check’ the dispute.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Write a Check with a Pencil?
Just write a check with a pen, preferably blue or black ink. Even though you can write checks in pencil, anyone who has an eraser can erase all information to change the number of dollars and the recipient’s name.
Why Will Someone Commemorate the Examination?
People will usually post-date checks when they know there are not enough funds currently in the account to close the check. They are waiting for the deposit to come in so the check will not bounce off.
They can also post-date checks because that’s when the bill is due. You need to be careful because when writing a check because it is a legitimate payment instrument. Just because there is a date to come in check, that does not mean the bank will not withdraw it at an earlier date.
Why Are There Two Fields for Amounts on Checks?
Two fields are really clear how many checks should be. Writing down the number twice also helps eliminate fraud and the amount of wrong that is debited from someone’s account.
Now that you know the basics of writing checks, you are ready when there are no other payment options like cash or automatic payments.
Can I write a check for myself for cash?
Yes, you can write a check for yourself to withdraw it. In the “Pay by order” field, you can write a check for yourself by writing your own name or by writing the word “Cash.” You also have to sign the back of the check like you will deposit a check into your checking account.
For your own financial security, don’t write to check on yourself until you are in the bank. If you accidentally lose a check, foreigners can potentially cash your check for the written dollar amount. You can also ask the tellers how they prefer you to handle the “Pay in order” field to avoid confusion too.
You can try this option if you have an account in several banks, don’t want to pay ATM fees, or you have to withdraw more than the maximum daily ATM withdrawal amount.
Why Is It So Important to Write a Check Correctly?
If you write a check incorrectly, the storage bank may not accept the check. Many companies charge back check-fees of between $ 20 and $ 40-plus late fees that apply because they did not receive the correct payment on the due date. Simple mistakes can easily cost $ 40 if you don’t catch it on time.
What is the Most Common Sign Writing Error?
We all made mistakes when writing checks and had to start over. Some of the most common mistakes include:
Write the wrong date or year (this usually happens in January)
Forgot to sign a check
The dollar amount field does not match
Depending on the error, it’s usually easier to write a new check. If you don’t have an extra blank check with you, you can attack one line through an error and write your initial next to it. After that, write down the correct information in the right field.
The storage bank can still refuse checks if it is difficult to distinguish correct information from errors.
How to Write a Voided Check?
Sometimes, you need to cancel the check if you write incorrectly or arrange a direct deposit with your employer, charity, or automatic monthly bill payment
Just as you write a check-in pen, use a pen to write “VOID” on the front of the check. Everyone does it a little differently, because you might prefer to write one word in giant letters or write words in each of the five fields.
If you write a blank check to schedule payments or automatic monthly deposits, you usually don’t need to fill in one of the five fields. However, you might decide to write a brief note in the memo for your personal notes.
Does a Personal Check Check Certified?
Not. A personal check is one that you write with a pen. Certified checks – sometimes called official checks or cashier checks – are printed by your bank to verify that the check has enough funds.
You may need to use official checks for the following financial transactions:
Close home mortgage loans
Buy a car without a loan
Applying a Passport
If you have an online bank account, you can request an official check online or by telephone. For those who are local banks, visit your hometown branch, and they will immediately issue your printed check. With any option, you must have enough money in your account to issue certified checks. The bank immediately withdraws funds from your bank account. So, make sure you have enough cash to cover the number of checks plus your regular fees.
Writing a check might feel like “lost art”, but it’s still a very important skill to know. We don’t pay for everything with plastic or digital wallets, and many businesses prefer cash checks for large purchases because they are safer. Now that you know how to write a check correctly, you don’t need to worry about having to rewrite your check or be billed with a bad check-back fee.